Apparently, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich didn’t get the memo about South Carolina wrapping up the Republican presidential primary. Still smarting over Iowa and out for revenge, Gingrich is already moving his operations further South.
That means the race for Florida is on! While Mitt Romney is busy wooing Hispanic voters with his Spanish language ad, “Nosotros” fellow hopeful Gingrich has been making inroads, most recently hiring U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s former campaign chief, Jose Mallea, to be his Florida director. Recently, Gingrich went into the belly of the beast, touting his credentials to Univision Radio Miami WAQI – Radio Mambi 710AM.
It was clear before the interview began that Gingrich had already impressed Radio Mambi’s Armando Perez Roura simply by wanting to join the program. “I’m surprised by the way Mr. Gingrich has declared his position and what he’s thinking of doing,” Roura gushed.
Roura then handed the interview over to Ninoska Perez Castellón, who pointedly asked Gingrich about the contradiction between his support for the Helms-Burton Act (which punishes foreign companies in Cuba), and more recently saying that he would not change the Obama Administration’s travel allowances.
Gingrich skirted the contradiction, and instead took a swing at Obama. “When we looked into it more, we realized the Obama policy is propping up the Castro dictatorship and making it easier for them to survive.”
When Roura pushed him on changing his position on travel restrictions, Gingrich demurred, saying that he would couple any efforts with “a very aggressive public relations policy.”
Gingrich also referenced his open letter to the people of Cuba, in which he writes, “The emblematic Arab Spring will serve as an inspiration in the efforts of my presidency in order to achieve a proactive policy that will reach the dream of a Cuban Spring.”
More interesting than the content of the actual interview was the Gingrich campaign’s savvy: Radio Mambi is the best place to target Miami Cubans for whom Cuba policy is a political litmus test. While Romney is dumping millions on TV, the Gingrich campaign secured lots of free airtime where it matters most.